The original Bill’s opened in Lewes, East Sussex in 2001; it’s expanded rapidly since being acquired by the Côte chain in 2008 and now has branches in student-heavy towns such as Brighton and Cambridge, as well as London and more on the way. The appeal of the formula – old-fashioned deli meets country-style café/restaurant – is obvious, and women, in particular, seem to like the place, but there’s definitely a corporate whiff to the operation. Chunky tables and school chairs, metal shelving full of Bill’s own-label jams, chutneys and oils (for sale, of course), and hanging garlands of dried chillies and colourful tissue paper – all seem to have been ordered from Retro Design Inc. Still, the effect is vibrant and homely, aided by a funk-soul soundtrack and chummy staff. Come for breakfast (eggs benedict, porridge with banana and honey), lunch or dinner, or pop in for tea and a scone. Just don’t expect too much. Pea and bean risotto was bland, soggy and could have been bettered by a competent home cook; a ‘tart’ of slow-roast plum tomato and artichoke wasn’t the cooked quiche we were expecting, merely a pile of (average) ingredients atop a pastry rectangle. And a tin pot of skinny fries was meanly portioned. We do like the old-fashioned enamel teapots, though.
9 White Lion Street
|Opening hours:||Breakfast served 8am-noon Mon-Fri; 8am-1pm Sat; 9am-1pm Sun. Meals served noon-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 1-10.30pm Sat; 1-10pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Angel tube|
|Price:||Main courses £8.50-£15.95|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
2.4 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:2
"Optional" service charges.... Up until today I thought Bill's was a great place to eat brunch with friends and grab a bit to eat while in covent garden. But now I can say that I would not think twice but five times before I go there again. The service disappointed me immensely today. I am a student who just finished her masters in London and does not have a job or a job prospective yet. i.e. I do not have money to give away. As a treat to myself on my last day in London I decided to go to Bill's just around the corner for lunch. The lovely meal that I had was ruined when I asked for the bill and they took my 20 GBP note without hearing that I wanted to make it an even 15. The bill including the "optional" service charges were 15.86. Since the charges were optional and I did not want to get back home with my wallet full of coins I wanted to make it an even 15 (more than half of the service charges would have been payed!) I asked them to bring me the bill again because they did not bring it with the change (I keep them to keep track of my spendings) and told them that I wanted to only pay 15. She brought me the bill back, but said she could not do anything about the amount payed. WHY SAY SERVICE CHARGES ARE OPTIONAL IF YOU DO NOT LET YOUR CUSTOMERS CHOOSE TO PAY IT OR NOT??? Needless to say that the only option you leave me is to not go to bill's again! Would have given more stars if it were not for this incident. It gets one because it's the minimum to be able to leave a comment here
I like the decor but i found the dishes were overpriced & unsatisfactory. I too had the Artichoke tart and had a hard job finding the artichokes under a 'Camoflage' of leaves. I managed to find two! i then requested more, the waiter was kind enough to fetch two more, although they were rather pathetic & measley-looking.... the rectangle tart base was more like a thin crispbread with a think coating of tapenade.. I really could have done better at home!